Anthony Suerte is one of the many injured children in Iloilo to finally receive healthcare services, weeks after super Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippine’s Visayas. The three year old boy suffered from a severe infection on his left leg after being exposed to and wounded by debris lying on the grounds of his village in Malbog, municipality of Estancia. Anthony, whose surname means ‘lucky’, could only depend on his 80 year old grandmother who was unable to help address his critical injury due to the lack of medical support by local authorities and aid agencies.

Yesterday, the young boy was finally relieved of the pain when Mercy Relief’s (MR) team of medical volunteers from Eastern Health Alliance (EHA) arrived at his village to perform a minor surgery and remove the abscess which could severely affect his health conditions permanently, if not treated immediately. Since last Thursday, the 11-member team set up mobile clinics across various villages in Estancia, Concepcion and Batad municipalities of Iloilo to address the critical healthcare needs of the less served communities. Similar to Anthony’s condition, the prevalent medical cases faced were wound and respiratory tract infections worsened by lack of proper hygiene and sanitation. In addition, a few cases were of young infants who suffered from dehydration and malnutrition due to poverty, and further aggravated by the devastating brunt of the typhoon.

In partnership with the Panay Center for Disaster Response (PCDR), the medical relief mission was focused on offering healthcare services and treatment of post-traumatic syndromes. A psychosocial rehabilitation programme was also implemented for the vulnerable and affected children to help them recover and overcome the trauma. Over the span of five days, the team served over 1,700 patients, with an average of 360 locals each day.

MR’s Chief Executive Goh Chin Siang commented, “The number of patients surpassed the initial target of 1,000. These are survivors who have not received any medical attention since Typhoon Haiyan struck, due to the large scale of the disaster. MR volunteers from EHA displayed great teamwork and synergised their best skills and expertise to provide effective medical relief to these unattended communities. Concurrently, MR is also continuing its relief efforts distributing construction materials and relief packs, as well as conducting psychosocial activities to uplift the spirits of the locals in the municipalities of Batan in Aklan, and Tanauan in Leyte, as the festive season nears.”

MR continues its relief efforts for the Typhoon Haiyan victims with the deployment of its 7th response team last Monday, bringing with them an additional unit of MR’s manual-powered water filtration system, PedalPure, to the province of Antique. To date, MR has provided more than SGD325,000 worth of relief supplies which includes food relief packs, crops seeds, clean water, hygiene essentials and construction materials for shelter to typhoon-stricken communities across the provinces of Bohol, Leyte, Aklan, Palawan, Negros Occidental, Capiz, Iloilo, and Antique in the Philippines.

 

MR’s medical mission in Barangay Cano-an in the municipality of Estancia, Iloilo province. (Right) 3 year old Anthony being tended for his injury.

  

Women, elderly and children were treated for wounds, respiratory tract infections, and post-traumatic syndromes.

 

Children underwent psychosocial rehabilitation activities to help them overcome the trauma.

 

Patients comprised mostly of young children who are most vulnerable to infections and malnutrition.

 

Over the past five days, the medical relief team has treated more than 1,700 patients across the affected municipalities of Estancia, Concepcion and Batad.

To date, MR has received cash donations and pledges worth more than SGD1.065m from members of the public, corporate companies and faith-based institutions in Singapore.

* MR has been implementing relief and development projects in five areas across the Philippines – Bicol Region, Metro Manila, Mindanao, Zambales and Visayas – continuously since 2006 as part of its disaster risk reduction efforts in line with the Hyogo Framework and AADMER. Click here to read more on “MR in the Philippines”.

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance. 

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email corporateaffairs@mercyrelief.org